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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Timing: 00:00:00

Margaret Thompson, a financial advisor with over a decade of experience in Norwich, has decided to expand her business offerings to include legal advice on estate planning, specifically around the drafting and legality of wills for her mortgage clients. Despite her extensive financial experience, Margaret lacks formal legal qualifications. 


Given this context, is Margaret permitted to provide legal advice on wills to her clients?

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The correct answer is C. The provision of legal advice on wills, while sensitive, is not classified as a 'reserved legal activity' under UK law, which means that it does not strictly require formal legal qualifications or authorisation from legal regulatory bodies. Margaret can offer advice on wills as part of her services without needing specific legal accreditation. It is crucial to note that while giving legal advice on such matters is not regulated, representing a client in court or conducting litigation would require proper authorisation and qualifications, which are beyond Margaret's current capabilities as a financial advisor.


Key Learning Points:

  • Reserved vs. Non-Reserved Legal Activities: Understanding the distinction is vital for legal compliance, especially for professionals branching into legal services.

  • Regulatory Framework: Familiarity with the Legal Services Act is essential for ensuring that one's practice adheres to legal standards.

  • Consumer Protection: While non-reserved legal activities can be performed without formal accreditation, practitioners are still subject to general consumer protection laws, and maintaining professional standards is crucial for credibility and client safety.

Collect Question

why D is wrong

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CELE SQE PASS wishes from Lucky Lion_

Certainly! Let's address why option D is incorrect in this context:

Option D implies that Margaret needs formal legal qualifications or specific authorisation to give legal advice on wills. However, the key point here is understanding the distinction between reserved and non-reserved legal activities under UK law.

### Correct Explanation:
**Legal advice on wills is generally considered a non-reserved activity**:
- **Reserved Legal Activities**: These are activities that can only be performed by individuals or organisations that are authorised by a legal regulatory body. Examples include the right to conduct litigation, the right of audience in courts, and probate activities.
- **Non-Reserved Legal Activities**: These are activities that do not require formal legal qualifications or authorisation to perform. Drafting wills, giving advice on wills, and estate planning typically fall into this category.

Since providing legal advice on wills is a non-reserved legal activity, Margaret can legally offer this advice without needing formal legal qualifications or authorisation. However, it is important for her to maintain high professional standards and adhere to consumer protection laws to ensure credibility and client safety.

### Encouragement:
Remember, it’s crucial to understand these distinctions as you prepare for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). Knowing which activities require formal legal qualifications and which do not can help you navigate the scope of legal practice effectively and ensure compliance with regulatory standards.

Keep up the good work, and don't hesitate to ask if you have more questions or need further clarification about legal activities and their regulations!

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